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Route 42 : Calvinia - Tankwa Padstal


168 km



About the Route

This route takes you from Calvinia to a remote stop called Tankwa Karoo Padstal. Before you leave Calvinia you can have a look at the largest postbox in South Africa! Don't forget to fill up your bikes (and extra fuel bladders if necessary), you are not going to see a petrol station again in the next 200 km's. Also check your tires and, if you feel it to be necessary, take a spare. The road is well known for destroying tires. This route is not taking you to an official accommodation, so please make sure you know where you would like to stay before you go. The Tankwa Karoo padstall was so friendly to let us camp next to the farmstall, but it is not an official campsite and I don't think they make a habit out of doing this. Stock up on water and food, there are only a few places where you can rehydrate along the way. When you are both mentally and mechanically prepared, you can enjoy a short section of tar while leaving Calvinia. Soon after leaving town the longest uninterrupted gravel road in South Africa will be in front of you and there will be nothing but wide open Karoo desert. The R355 gravel road is generally in good condition, but there are sections with corrugation and few short sandy patches. The sand can come 'out of nowhere' and be a surprise if you ride fast, so keep this in mind. Other than that, the road is literally straight forward. You will pass the Tankwa Karoo National Park on your left about half way through and you might see some general game such as Springbok.

Route Map

Download GPX • 49KB

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